The (regular) season ends in Cleveland

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Can we put a running clock on this game? Nah? Well ok. All the way back at the beginning of the season, we expected the Nets to embark on a journey that would lead to them competing for a Championship. There have been a lot of bumps along the way, but the Nets find themselves in the playoffs and have a decent shot of making noise in the postseason. This is the second night of a back-to-back and the final game of the 2013-2014 regular season. The Nets got beat down by the Knicks on Tuesday and put the bow on what's been a disastrous slate of games that aired on TNT this season.

Waiting to start their vacation will be the 32-49 Cleveland Cavaliers. When the Cavs made the moves to acquire Andrew Bynum and Jarrett Jack in the offseason, they thought that they could make a push for the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, injuries and terrible play have resulted in their fourth straight losing season.

By the end of the evening, Brooklyn will know who their first round opponent will be. The third seeded Raptors go to MSG to play the Knicks. The fourth seeded Chicago Bulls travel to Charlotte to play the playoff bound Bobcats. And the sixth seeded Wizards, who trail Brooklyn by one game for the fifth seed, play in Boston against the Celtics.

The season so far

How did the 2012-2013 season go for these teams? Let's look:

2013-2014

Brooklyn

Cleveland

Record

44-37 32-49

Pace

93.65 95.67

Offensive Efficiency

104.6 101.1

Defensive Efficiency

104.7 105

Offensive Rebounding percentage

21.9 27.2

Turnover rate

15.4 14.7

Assist rate

16.8 16.2

Rebound rate

47.2 50.8

Free throw rate

31.4 26.8

Effective Field Goal percentage

51.5 47.7

Opponent Effective Field Goal percentage

50.8 50.9

The objective for this game is real simple: make it through without suffering an injury. Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson are still dealing with their injuries and probably won't be playing. Mirza Teletovic won't be here either because he welcomed two new members of his family on Tuesday.

For the Nets that will play, this represents a chance to get one final tune up before the stakes get high. The person who figures to get the most playing time is Mason Plumlee. Despite the ugly loss against the Knicks, Plumlee looked pretty good and had a couple of highlight dunks. The game didn't hold that much value, but it was still dismaying to see Andray Blatche commit a season high six turnovers. Depending on the matchup in the first round, Brooklyn might need to pair Kevin Garnett with a second big man. This game might serve as an audition of sorts for that spot.

It felt like he missed more time, but Kyrie Irving only missed 12 games this season. When he did play, he averaged a respectable 21 points and six assists in 35 minutes a game. He's a fine offensive player, but the team has been consistently worse defensively when he's been on the court. It'll be interesting to see if he gets better on defense next season. More on that another time.

Like a lot of teams, Cleveland will have a very busy offseason. Luol Deng will be entering free agency and when he's healthy provides a lot of value, especially on the defensive end. Before he got fired, previous General Manager Chris Grant whiffed on a lot of draft picks, especially 2013 Draft Number One pick Anthony Bennett. Bennett had one of the worst seasons of a number one pick that I can recall and if the Cavs wanna get back to respectability, he has to provide some value. But the first thing that needs to be on the agenda is finding a permanent General Manager.

Player to watch: Jarrett Jack

Jack was expected to be a solid backup to Irving, but he ended up having one of his worst seasons in a while. He wasn't as involved as compared to his year in Golden State (and playing in a slower paced offense), and Jack ended up averaging fewer points and assists per game while having a lower shooting percentage. He's signed for three more years so it'll be nice if his play picked up.

From the Vault

If the Washington Wizards have their way, they would avoid LeBron James in the First Round. They've had unpleasant experiences with him in the past.


More reading: Fear The Sword

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